Or, part one of a quest to discover whether it’s worth buying those early Stones albums on vinyl…
We were in the pub.
The conversation, a couple of hours in, had turned to how the skeleton of a dinosaur would no longer be displayed in the Natural History Museum.
I know what you’re thinking. Some of our discussions can be pretty scintillating, nay, sparkling at times…
Chris said, “They effectively expired years ago. They might have dominated the whole planet, lumbering across the globe, but they’ve had their day. No-one really cares.”
I nodded agreement.
“And it’s all because of punk, in my view.”
To be honest, I’d just come back from the Gents. I reasoned I must have missed something, but couldn’t grasp what.
“Punk rock killed off Diplodocus? What are you on about?”
My friends rolled their eyes.
“We’ve moved on to The Rolling Stones…” Chris explained patiently.
“But how did the conversation move from…” I stopped myself. Even Watson on an off-day would have deduced that one. “Ah. Yes. Quite.”
Chris isn’t a big fan of The Rolling Stones.
“They’ve effectively released four good albums and a few singles, and nothing much good since 1972” he ventured.
I looked pained. Disgraceful views. I knew what he meant though. Those four albums: Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street were stone cold classics. Aside from a couple of best-ofs, those were the only four Stones albums I actually owned, at least on vinyl. But when was the last time I played any of their early albums? Maybe never? I tried to smoke him out.
“What about those early R&B albums? They’re classics too!”
“Really? Have you even heard them? When was the last time you played any of them?!” challenged Chris “The early albums were all Chuck Berry covers, and then they did a couple of dodgy psychedelic albums that no-one ever listens to”.
“That can’t be true” I reasoned “The Rolling Stones were one of the two biggest bands on the planet in the sixties. They didn’t get there by being just a singles band.”
A quick straw poll found that none of us had actually listened to many of the Rolling Stones’ first six albums more than once, and some not at all.
“OK then, I think we have a new challenge for you then” smiled Chris. “We’ll take it as red that you can find all the albums for, say, less than a hundred quid. That’s one part. The other, more difficult part, is to find reasons why anyone should bother. Find the albums, listen to them, and then come back here and tell us why they aren’t just full of rubbish Chuck Berry covers.”
“OK. But as it’s your challenge, you have to pay a forfeit if you’re wrong.”
“And you do too…”
“No. If the albums are rubbish, then my forfeit is that I’ll have spent a lot of money on six terrible albums. Your forfeit if they turn out to be good, is that you’ll have to write a letter of apology to the band, and post it to them.”
Well, it seemed a good idea at the time.
So off I went to some record fairs. I found the records. And I listened to The Rolling Stones with fresh ears. This was a band whose early records I hadn’t, until now, paid much attention to. And I discovered some interesting things about those first six UK albums, which are:
- The Rolling Stones
- Rolling Stones No 2
- Out of Our Heads
- Between The Buttons
- Their Satanic Majesties Request.
And in the next six posts, I’ll tell you about them. And we’ll also find out if they really are a bit rubbish, or if Chris needs to write his letter of apology…
Categories: Rock Music